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Why is it that good food tastes even better when it only costs you only a little? We’ll never find out because we’re too busy scouring the city for these seven amazing dishes under $10. Hello, extra shopping money.

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sultan s market chicago cheap eats

Falafel Pita at Sultan’s Market ($3.75)

We know, it’s crazy. For less than $4 (we spend more on coffee), you get a fluffy pita stuffed with perfectly crispy-on-the-outside yet soft-on-the-inside falafel, hummus, tabbouleh and sumac onions.

Multiple locations;

johnny s grill double cheese burger chicago cheap eats

Double Cheeseburger at Johnny’s Grill ($9)

We kid you not: This is one of the city’s best burgers and it costs less than a movie ticket at Logan Theatre across the street. Juicy and smothered with sharp cheddar and Dijonnaise—just the thought gets our mouths watering.

2545 N. Kedzie Ave.; 773-278-2215 or

lula cafe quesadilla chicago cheap eats

Quesadilla at Lula Cafe ($9)

Lula is not exactly the go-to for cheap eats. The farm-to-table pioneer is better suited to special occasion meals (hint, hint: our birthday). Still, this colorful, flavorful quesadilla stuffed with acorn squash and green onion, ricotta, guajillo chile and queso fresco holds its own among the pricier entrées.

2537 N. Kedzie Blvd.; 773-489-9554 or

nic s organic fast food burger chicago cheap eats

Sandwich and Fries at Nic’s Organic Fast Food ($9)

This is a value meal with actual value. Nic’s is the nation’s first certified organic drive-through restaurant, so savor your cheeseburger and fries knowing that it’s hormone-, pesticide- and antibiotic-free as well as sustainably raised.

2101 S. Plum Grove Rd., Rolling Meadows; 847-907-4477 or

furious spoon chicago cheap eats

Shoyu Ramen at Furious Spoon ($9.25)

Don’t be fooled by the trend factor—this is Japan’s original budget meal. Choose vegetable, chicken or shoyu (chashu pork belly, bean sprouts, bamboo and nori) and slurp it down.

Multiple locations;

Shrimp Roll at Da Lobsta ($10)

OMG the buttered New England-style roll alone would be worth the cost. But when you stuff it full of fresh shrimp dressed in tarragon mayo sauce and garlic butter…we die and go to heaven.

416 N. Clark St.; 312-955-0894 or

en hakkore chicago cheap eats

Bibimbap at En Hakkore ($10)

A heaping bowl of white rice gets loaded with your choice of BBQ beef or spicy pork, fried egg, kimchi and 16 kinds of tasty vegetables—mushrooms, pickled cucumber and beets, to name a few. Sure beats that sad desk salad.

1840 N. Damen Ave.; 773-772-9880 or

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